Research Ideas  

Welcome to IBD Partners Research Ideas Page!

In this area you will be able to:

  • Propose, vote on, and discuss research ideas
  • View current studies
  • View published research

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You are an active participant in  IBD Partners research prioritization process! Have you ever had a question about IBD that you wish science could answer? Tell us what research is important to you!

Here, you can submit a research idea to the community, cast your votes, and discuss research ideas proposed by other members. Please make your research question as specific as possible. Other members will vote on your research idea, and we will prioritize research ideas with the most votes.

You are allowed to vote for your own proposed research idea if you want. However, you can only vote for a total of five research ideas. If you have already cast your five votes and an idea you like even more is proposed, you can change your votes at any time to reflect your current preferences.

The research team will review all submitted ideas and provide a response to you and to the community. If your idea leads to an IBD Partners Study, you will have the opportunity to serve as a patient collaborator on the research team for that study.

We encourage you to prioritize the ideas that are most important to you, even if the research team determines that your idea is not a good fit for IBD Partners. We will share ideas labeled “Not a Good Fit” with researchers outside of our network when appropriate. We want to make sure all of your votes count!

Thanks for your participation in this important platform to help the IBD research community understand what research questions are important to patients. We are passionate about finding answers to your questions!

Published Studies

Year Publication Categories
Evaluation of Gastrointestinal Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (GI-PROMIS) Symptom Scales in Subjects with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases


Patient reported outcomes (PROs) are important measures of how well treatments work in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). PROs are symptoms reported directly by patients, rather than tests like colonoscopies or blood work. The PRO Measurement Information System (PROMIS) is a scale for measuring PROs for physical, mental, and social health. A gastrointestinal (GI) PROMIS scale was recently developed based on responses from people across the United States. The GI PROMIS scale includes questions about eight common GI symptoms: gas, reflux, diarrhea, soilage, constipation, belly pain, nausea and vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. We studied these questions in 2,378 people with Crohn’s disease (CD) and 1,455 people with ulcerative colitis (UC) in CCFA Partners. About half of the participants reported being in remission. Compared to participants in remission, those with active CD reported worse symptoms on the GI-PROMIS scale for all symptoms. The same was true for participants with active UC with the exception of difficulty swallowing. Participants with worse quality of life reported worse symptoms on the GI-PROMIS scale for all symptoms. Participants with more diarrhea, belly pain, and gas reported poorer mental and social PROs. In summary, participants who reported worse GI-PROMIS symptoms also reported worse qualify of life, disease activity, and mental and social outcomes. These results suggest that the GI-PROMIS scales could be an important way to measure symptoms in the future.

Full Scientific Abstract

patient reported outcomes; IBD; quality of life; GI-PROMIS; psychosocial symptoms

Research Methods
Patient-Reported Outcomes and Quality of Life in Patients with Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis (IPAA)


Between 20-35% of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) have had a colectomy (surgery to remove part or all of the large intestine). The most common type of colectomy is called a “restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA)”. This is a surgery to remove the large intestine and rectum and to create a small pouch out of the small intestine that is connected to the anus. This pouch is used to store stool and is often called a “J-pouch” (It is shaped like the letter “J”). Pouchitis (inflammation of the pouch) is the most common complication of this type of surgery and consists of symptoms of diarrhea and urgency. In this study, we wanted to know how many CCFA Partners participants have experienced pouchitis and what medications and characteristics are common among this group. To answer these questions we looked at survey responses submitted by more than 15,000 CCFA Partners participants. We found that 248 patients reported having an IPAA at some point in time. Of these patients, 82% also reported at least one episode of pouchitis. Patients with a history of pouchitis were more likely to use antibiotics. Patients who reported a recent episode of pouchitis (within the past six months) were more likely to report worse quality of life, depression, fatigue, and dissatisfaction with their social role. The majority of patients who have had a colectomy develop pouchitis at some point. During episodes of pouchitis, patients experience worse quality of life.

Full Scientific Abstract

IPAA; Ileal Pouch Anal Anastamosis

Lifestyle; Surgery; Medication
Association Between Affective-Cognitive Symptoms of Depression and Exacerbation of Crohn's Disease


Depression is common among patients with Crohn’s disease (CD). In this study, we wanted to understand if CD patients in remission who reported symptoms of depression were more likely to experience worsened CD symptoms later in time. To answer this question we looked at responses to CCFA Partners survey questions submitted by more than 2,000 CD patients about negative mood (I felt depressed), negative beliefs about the self (I felt worthless, I felt hopeless), and decreased life engagement/negativity (I felt hopeless) during the past seven days. Twelve months later, we asked about the severity of their CD activity using a standard CD questionnaire about diarrhea, pain, and well-being. We found that symptoms of depression predicted CD activity a year later. In other words, CD patients who were depressed were more likely to have CD symptoms a year later than those who were not depressed.

Full Published Manuscript

depression; comorbidity; Crohn’s disease; Crohn’s; CD

Lifestyle, Mental Health
Behavioral Strategies to Improve Cohort Retention within CCFA Partners


Earlier studies have shown that people who participate in surveys (such as CCFA Partners) may respond better to survey requests if these have a time limit (such as telling participants that surveys need to be done in 72 hours). This is called "scarcity." Other ways to improve survey response include messages targeting: paying it forward (that what you are doing will help people in the future), guilt, altruism (helping others), and self-serving (helping yourself). Our goal was to see if scarcity or these messages improved response rates within CCFA Partners. The scarcity group received a 'warning' email informing them that they will be sent a survey link the next day, and that they will have 72 hours to complete the survey. The control group received no warning email. We also tested the four different messages described above and a "control" message that just informed patients that it was time for their survey. We sent emails to a total of 8697 people within CCFA Partners asking them to complete their follow-up surveys. Of these, 2965 started their follow up survey. There was no difference between those in the 'scarcity group' as compared to control group. Scarcity was, however, more effective in the >50 age group. Of the messages, guilt resulted in a significantly higher response rate, while the other messages were no different than control. In summary, behavioral interventions applied to an internet-based IBD cohort have little benefit in improving response rates. Guilt had the strongest effect. The reasons that the other messages did not work may be that these interventions don't apply in an IBD population, that e-mail messages are not as effective, or that members of CCFA Partners are already very motivated to fill out surveys.

Full Scientific Abstract

cohort; response; retention; community; population; behavioral strategies; behavior

Research Methods, Study Updates

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